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Marshall Basketball Returns Home for Pair of C-USA Games Against Middle Tennessee



Marshall guard Jarrod West (photo via

Jarrod West and Taevion Kinsey are two of the Marshall men’s basketball team’s best players as well as locker room leaders — traits that were on display for everyone to see in last Saturday’s win at Old Dominion.

The Thundering Herd was coming off a crushing loss the previous night where the Monarchs erased a 21-point second half MU lead to take an 82-81 win. Marshall had been making a habit out of letting large leads slip in the second half of games, but had been able to hang on for wins prior to last Friday’s meltdown. The mood of the team was not a good one between last week’s games in Virginia, but there would be no repeat letdown against the Monarchs. West finished with 18 points while Kinsey scored 17 as Marshall salvaged a weekend split with a dominant 87-67 win.

“It was very quiet,” Marshall coach Dan D’Antoni said of the team’s demeanor between games last week. “It wasn’t a scared quiet, it was more of a determined quiet where we had to raise our level of play. That’s where you have Taevion and Jarrod take control of the mood of the program. They stepped up and you could tell when we started that they were focused and they were going to make sure we didn’t have the same let down.”

Now Marshall (10-5, 4-4 Conference USA) will try to ride the momentum from that important win into this weekend’s pair of games against Conference USA rival Middle Tennessee (5-11, 3-7 C-USA) — the first time MU has played at home inside the Cam Henderson Center since a Jan. 17 loss to Western Kentucky that was also Marshall’s only game so far this calendar year in Huntington. Friday’s tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. while Saturday’s will get going at 4 p.m. with both games streamed live on ESPN+.

“I’m definitely excited [to play at home], but to me it’s exciting to go on the road and beat somebody in their house — that feels way better,” Kinsey said. “Being in Huntington with our fans and our type of rims — just finding our spots everywhere where we practice at and we know shots go in. That’s going to be great for us.”

Middle Tennessee comes into this weekend’s pair of games off two home wins last week against Charlotte (which had its recently postponed games in Huntington rescheduled for later this month, MU announced Thursday). That’s the good part for MTSU. The bad? The Blue Raiders have had to battle COVID and contract tracing postponements off the court early in their schedule and have for the most part struggled on the court. Last week’s pair of wins against the 49ers were Middle Tennessee’s first wins since Florida International lost 67-56 on Jan. 9 in Murfreesboro. You have to go back to the middle of December for MTSU’s last win before beating the at home Panthers last month.

The Blue Raiders are led by junior guard Dontrell Shuler (12.5 points per game) and redshirt junior guard Jordan Davis (11.3 points per game).

Despite MTSU’s struggles this season, Marshall sophomore Andrew Taylor — who, like West, scored 18 in last week’s win at Old Dominion — said he expects a strong challenge from the Blue Raiders on Friday and Saturday in Huntington.

“[MTSU] is finding a way to beat teams like ODU found a way to beat us,” Taylor said. “[ODU] out-toughed us on the boards. Just the fact of the matter — we are going to have to be the tougher dudes in this matchup.”

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